Cremation involves the use of high heat & flame to reduce a body to bone fragments. The article below focuses on flame based cremation. The Cremation Process: It’s important to understand that cremation is neither a rejection nor an alternative to the traditional funeral. Instead cremation is merely another form of bodily disposition from which to choose from. In other words, if you select cremation for a loved one you can still have visitation and/or a ceremony before. Once the service has concluded, the body is placed into a cremation chamber which is an industrial furnace specifically manufactured to reduce a body to bone fragments. A modern cremation chamber is typically powered by natural gas or propane and can reach temperatures between 1500 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Purchasing a casket is not required in order to cremate a body, in the U.S. you can rent a casket to during the visitation. Afterward, a loved one’s body will be transferred to a cremation container, which is a cardboard or wooden box created for this purpose. Most crematories require the use of a cremation container in order to handle the deceased in a dignified manner during the cremation. Many crematories allow family members or close loved one to view the cremation itself in the crematory. If you’re interested in arranging a private viewing speak to the cremation provider. On average it typically takes two to three hours to cremate an average size person. Crematories perform each cremation individually, although some can accommodate additional family members if authorized in advance. Once the chamber cools, the operator sweeps the remaining bone fragments and ash into a collection container and allows it to cool further. After using a powerful magnet to extract any metal or dental work, the operator will crush the bone fragments so that everything is equally sized. After processing, the cremated remains are placed into an urn that was preselected during the arrangement process. Please note that an urn is not required to cremate an individual. Typically the cremation of an average size individual results in remains weighing between five and eight pounds and require an urn that can hold up to two hundred cubic inches. Cremated remains should resemble sand & appear gray to white in color. Also the remains should be somewhat uniform, however you might visually see or feel various sized remains.

Over the last two decades the cremation rate has doubled to 47%, with westerns states having the highest cremation rates. It is projected that by 2019 50% of Americans will choose cremation. There are many reasons as to why people are choosing cremation over more traditional burials. The article below outlines several of these reasons.

Less expensive than a traditional funeral: Cremation is generally less expensive than a traditional funeral. According to the NFDA, National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost for a traditional funeral is $6,400 which includes a casket, but not the headstone or cemetery plot, nor other costs such as flowers. According to the CANA, Cremation Association of North America, the average cost of a cremation is $1,750 which includes a memorial service and an urn. When considering the expense, it’s important to understand that cremation is neither a rejection nor an alternative to the traditional funeral. Instead cremation is merely another form of bodily disposition from which to choose from. In other words, if you select cremation for a loved one you can still have visitation and or a memorial ceremony before. This means the amount of money spent can be less or greater than the averages mentioned depending upon services you select. An example of this is a cremation called a direct cremation. A direct cremation is when an individual is cremated without a funeral service and generally costs less than a thousand dollars.

Flexible Service Options: Because a human body begins to decompose immediately after death it must be embalmed, which will slow down decay and allow time for a memorial service as well as a burial. However if a body is cremated, there’s no urgency to do anything with cremated remains. Memorial services can be planned to be more personalized, and family and friends can have more time to plan to participate.  There are options for handling the cremated remains-ashes- that aren’t available for a traditional burial. Ashes can be scattered, buried, or divided up among family members.

Better for the Environment: While not considered as eco-friendly as a natural burial, cremation is considered better for the environment since a traditional funeral involves formaldehyde embalming fluid and the need for land when burying a casket. Even if you decide to bury an urn, the amount of land required is much less than that needed to bury a coffin.